Quirky and delightful, Augill Castle is a Victorian gentleman’s folly in the magnificent Eden Valley. It has the trappings of a neo-Gothic castle – tower, turrets, castellations and mullions – but in miniature. Its wonderfully warm owners, Simon and Wendy Bennett, rescued it from dereliction and have lovingly created an award-winning and very special place to stay. It retains the relaxed atmosphere of a family home amid its vast rooms, with large fireplaces and antique furniture. There are 17 charmingly eclectic bedrooms, with four-poster baths as well as beds, turrets for wardrobes and splendid views. You’d be hard pushed to find a family-friendlier castle, with treehouse, playground, 12-seat cinema and children’s cookery school. It’s also a splendid place for a wedding. You can have the castle to yourself and there’s no formula: every guest is as unique as the place itself. Simon gives an honest glimpse of life at Augill in his books, Undressed for Dinner and Stop for Breakfast.
The newly expanded Yorkshire Dales National Park or the enlarged Lake District National Park, both of which offer adventure for all ages, world class food and the best landscapes in Britain.
The castle is famed for its afternoon teas and its legendary dinner parties on Fridays and Saturdays when guests all eat and socialise together around huge oak refectory tables.
Visit the lovely monthly farmer’s markets in Brough, Tebay, Barnard Castle and Kendal to pick up some local treasures.